Former Minister of Commence Miatta Beyslow along with other former government officials, including former managing director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), Nelson Williams implicated in the misapplication of US$5.8m from the sale of the Japanese Oil Grant could likely be sent to jail, if a US$2m bond secured in their favor is disallowed by Criminal Court ‘C.’
The bond was filed by the Accident and Casualty Insurance Company (ACIC), but government lawyers are pushing for the court to deny it and allow the defendants to be jailed at the Monrovia Central Prison.
The court has not set any date to hear the merit and demerit of the bond.
In his exception to the bond, the prosecution alleged that the insurance company that is serving as a surety for the defendants’ bail bond has not shown to the satisfaction of the court any legal authority and or evidence that the company has the ability and capacity to do so.
“The Insurance company’s tax clearance, business registration certificate, restated articles of incorporation and independent auditors report and financial statement for the year 2014 attached to the criminal appearance bond are not sufficient to show that ACIC has the capacity and ability to perform the obligation it has undertaken in its criminal bond,” the prosecution claimed.
The prosecution further claimed that there is no statement of account(s) of ACIC from any financial institution within the country and outside of Liberia attached to the bond to show evidence that it has the financial capacity to serve as surety as required under law.
“The company has filed several bail bonds to secure the release and appearance of many defendants within the country and those cases for which it secured the bail are still pending before various courts in Liberia,” the prosecution noted.
The prosecution also alleged that the insurance company has failed to meet the legal requirement of section (d) of the Judicial Order Number One, contending that the law, practice and procedure in the country requires that “any bail bond posted in the case of economic sabotage must be commensurate with the amount charged in the indictment.”
“The total amount posted by the defendants as bail is US$2m which is far below the indictment amount of US$5,764,110, therefore the entire bond should be vacated, disallowed and set aside,” the prosecution argued.
In their counter argument, defense lawyers said, the Liberian Constitution prohibits the imposition of excessive bail, clarifying that “the posting of the US$2m bond is adequate to ensure that the defendants will be available as and when their presence is required by the court.”
According to them, ACIC has met all of the legal requirements to do bond business in the country.
“We deny the allegation and confirm that the supporting documents attached to the criminal appearance bond and the affidavit of surety clearly shows that the defendants’ surety, ACIC, has met all the legal requirements and is qualified to be defendants’ surety in the matter,” the defense team insisted.
They however pleaded with the court to overrule prosecution’s request and declare the defendants’ bond valid.